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Well... I have been a gamer for 20 years, but they can be unproductive. Games like World of Warcraft can (read can) take over more time of your life than is good for you. When that happens it can be a problem. But the same can be said for any other medium. The thing is though, some games try to reel you into a loop of constant play, which is where they differ from movies and even things like series, because there are only so many episodes per week/month that you can watch.
People who hate games probably view them as a 'doing it all the time'-activity instead of the more reasonable 'it's a hobby of mine'.
Then there is the violence thing, which I can't comment anything insightful on since I don't understand the issue. That's partly because most of that chatter seems to be coming from the US; the place where they think it's no problem to own guns or have a adolescent watch a guy's head explode from a point blank shotgun blast to the face, but it is a national tragedy when a kid of 12 sees someone naked or - God forbid - saw and understands sexual intercourse.
It's something I just can't understand and seems just silly to me.
I find that the majority of people don't hate them. There will always be people that don't like different aspects of culture, if they don't like it don't talk to them about it and find someone who is interested in games. I've found over the years that people that don't play games might still have played one or two games a lot in the past, and people that have never played games are still open to hearing you pine about virtues of games. It's just a waste of time talking about games to people that don't like games. It doesn't matter why, they are welcome to their opinions, just try to find some common ground on another topic or stop talking to them. Not everyone has to like the same things you do.
Because there's people out there who will hate anything. Just like there's people out there who will love anything. There is nothing that exists which people all can agree on. Least not that I know of.
Because they are toys being played by grown men.
Oh I hate that answer... Grrr...
Because of a long associated mentality perpetuated by pop culture and the media for the last 25 years or so. It'll take time, but eventually the societal consensus will come to appreciate and accept games as a normal piece of media and art to consume. It's a young medium still, that stuff takes time.
Someday, we'll be the elders that influence society. Adults and young people will have grown up loving and playing games and think nothing of them as anything else than a fun, valuable and revered medium. Games will also to continue evolving, getting better and more refined with increasing iterations, until a lot of the more egregious aspects of the industry are less prominent. Though we still have a ways to go, I think we're already starting to see the early stages of this.
I'd actually consider games MUCH more worth people's time than some of the shit people watch, buy and partake in these days.